Producer/composer/musician Atticus Ross has traversed the musical globe and developed a unique signature style . Combining elements from seemingly disparate genres he has achieved both commercial and artistic success.
Ross’ place on the cutting edge of music was ingrained at a young age. His father, Ian Ross, was cofounder of the original English pirate radio station ‘Radio Caroline’ and went on to open the infamous Studio 54esque ‘Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace’ in Los Angeles. Atticus had a bizarre childhood bouncing between the formalities of a traditional English boarding school and the eccentric decadence of early eighties Los Angeles nightlife. As disco moved to punk so Flipper’s transformed from roller rink to venue and although barely a teenager Atticus was able to experience the glory days of the LA punk scene first hand, catching performances of such bands as ‘X’, ‘the Dead Kennedy’s’ and ‘The Germs’ as well as an early Prince on the classic ‘Dirty Mind’ tour.
Graduating from The Courtauld Institute of Art in London at age 19 Ross moved to New York City and worked in the pioneering galleries of Annina Nosei and Julian Pretto. Ross curated several shows of emerging artists for Pretto’s Spring Street space before buying a drum machine and returning to London to try and learn it.
His first work of note was in the mid nineties programming tracks for producer Tim Simenon’s band ‘Bomb the Bass’, an act seen as one of the most influential in the early explosion of British dance and electronic music. At this time Ross worked under Simenon on various projects as well as forming a collaborative relationship with former Bad Seed Barry Adamson. He worked on the Adamson albums ‘Soul Murder’, ‘The Negro Inside Me’, and ‘Oepidpus Schmoedipus’ before gaining his first production credit on ’As above so Below’. It was also during this period Ross got his first experience with creating music for film, helping Adamson put together music for the score of David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’.
In 1995 Ross, along with Claudia Sarne, formed the band 12 Rounds. Almost immediately signed to Polydor Records they released two eps and an album ‘Jitterjuice’ before signing to Nothing -Interscope in the US and releasing their second album ‘My Big Hero’ . Although a critic’s favorite the album failed to take off commercially and the band returned to the studio to write. Predominantly recorded in England Ross returned to the US to mix the third album with Nothing label owner Trent Reznor. Although the 12 Rounds album got caught up in subsequent disputes and remains unreleased, it gave birth to a creative relationship between Reznor and Ross that spans the last nine years. Ross was initially asked by Reznor to join the group Tapeworm alongside Danny Lohner (NIN)and Maynard James Keenan (Tool). Several recording sessions took place before the album hit its own set of difficulties and Reznor and Ross moved into the production of ‘With Teeth’ , the first of four Nine Inch Nails they have worked on together. Both a platinum album and a critical success they followed it up with ‘Year Zero’ ; between the two albums they achieved a string of five consecutive number one U.S rock singles before embarking on the 36 track instrumental album “Ghosts,” which Ross also co-wrote, and which was nominated for a grammy for ‘Best Instrumental’ in the 2009 awards. Finally, ‘The Slip’, released in May of 2008 , was the first album by a major artist to be provided as a high quality download entirely for free, as a thank you to the fans. This year, NIN’s farewell show included Ross on keyboard.
Beyond NIN Atticus has worked with Reznor on a number of other artists including Peter Gabriel, Saul Williams and Zach de la Rocha. They also recently completed co-producing an ep with an all original line up Jane’s Addiction.
Other production work includes two albums for Korn; “See You on the Other Side” and “Untitled” , which he also contributed writing to, and forthcoming albums for uk artists Union of Knives and London buzz band Loverman. He resumes work with Coheed and Cambria in November to finish their new album by the end of year . Beyond albums he has done tracks for a variety of projects including producing and co writing Perry Farrell’s single ‘Go all the way ’ for the hit movie Twilight and it’s accompanying grammy nominated soundtrack. Remix work over the last few years has included Grace Jones, From First to Last, Telepathe , Transplants ,Biggie Smalls and Dillinger Escape Plan . Grace Jones and Telepathe both included the mixes on their albums.
Another enduring creative relationship began in 2004 when Ross met up with directors the Hughes Brothers and embarked on writing the music for their television series ‘Touching Evil’ . Ross next scored Allen Hughes’ vignette to the film “New York, I Love You” a tribute to New York with multiple segments also directed by Brett Ratner, Natalie Portman and Mira Nair. In January of 09 Ross started work on his third collaboration with the Hughes Brothers and his first feature score, the post-apocalyptic drama “The Book of Eli” starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman.As with all the film projects writing commenced with his now wife, Claudia Sarne, and younger brother, Leopold Ross. The basic tracks were recorded in his studio in Los Angeles and after several months of work they departed to London where it was finished in the world renowned Abbey Road studios with a full 80 piece orchestra. A unique blend of organic and electronic elements, the score will be released through Reprise Records on January 12th 2010. Dave Sitek , from TV On The Radio has provided a remix of the main theme. The Book of Eli opens in theaters worldwide on January 15, 2010.